WORLDS FINEST – 7.5/10.
If the Batman/Superman team up was the dark, gritty face of DC then the Supergirl/Flash crossover was its smiley, snuggly side that Zack Snyder probably has nightmares about. All joking aside, the superhero genre doesn’t have to be defined by any one style. Just like comics, there is plenty of room for stories of every kind and even multiple interpretations of the same character. So while Zack Snyder has said that Grant Gustin doesn’t fit in with his vision of the DC/WB universe (presumably because he smiled once), that’s fine because he fits in perfectly within the DC/CW universe. But even better, this week he proved that he also works quite nicely elsewhere as The Flash crossed over into the world of Supergirl. Don’t you just love a good multiverse?
Despite existing in different universes/networks, Flash and Supergirl actually have a lot in common; they’re both built around a very likeable lead actor, they’re both light-hearted and effortlessly charming, and they can both be enjoyed without having to exert too much brain power. These shows aren’t as earnest as Daredevil or even Angryman V Super-Jesus: Dawn of Depression, they’re silly and fun and that’s exactly what this crossover episode turned out to be. It’s best not to overthink the particulars of how Barry ended up in National City, the writers certainly didn’t. But it doesn’t need to be overcomplicated; Barry can travel through time and space if he runs fast enough, that’s all we need to know. The show saves time on the set up and instead throws us straight into the action.
We pick up after last week’s reveal that Siobhan is actually the classic villain, Silver Banshee, as opposed to the new villain, Super-Bitch. Having survived a nasty fall off of the top of a building by shouting at the ground the DEO is naturally curious about her powers. However they are mystical rather than alien so they are forced to let her go. On her way out of the DEO she overhears Lucy Lane interrogating Livewire. The supervillain bad mouths Cat, who isn’t exactly top of Siobhan’s Christmas card list either and the ground work for a villainous team up is laid. Siobhan pays a visit to her Wiccan aunt’s magic shop for an expositional chat, where we learn about the banshee’s curse that can only be broken if she kills the person that has wronged her; Kara Danvers.
Led by the vengeful spirit inside of her, Siobhan goes to CatCo and uses her scream to blast Kara out of the window. Kara’s freefall is stopped by The Flash who catches her in mid-air, however he is running so fast he ends up stopping way outside of the city limits. There is an adorable moment where both Flash and Supergirl try to comprehend that the other hero doesn’t know who they are before Barry finally realises that he has somehow ended up on the wrong Earth. Team Supergirl soon welcomes Barry into the fold, all apart from James who is instantly jealous of the immediate bond he has developed with Kara. James spends the rest of the episode acting like a moody teenager and it really doesn’t do the character any favours.
Meanwhile, Siobhan breaks Livewire out of her toilet-free DEO cell so that they can team up to take out Kara, Cat and Supergirl in one fell swoop. But first Livewire gives Siobhan a makeover; while the end result is a fairly accurate representation of Silver Banshee it still has the inescapable feel of a Halloween costume, but then again so do most comic book characters. Against Barry’s better judgement, Flash and Supergirl confront Livewire but are blindsided by Silver Banshee and forced to retreat. The defeat hits Kara hard and she finally admits that her desperation to win back the people of National City is causing her to make poor decisions. Barry reassures her that the people will forgive her, because he is literally the nicest person in the multiverse.
Having dealt with Pied Piper, Barry is able to create some sonic ear plugs to drown out Silver Banshee’s scream. But it isn’t enough to help Cat, who is taken hostage by Banshee and Livewire after they storm CatCo. They use Cat as bait to draw out Supergirl and Flash which leads to a pretty satisfying confrontation in a heavily crowded park. There are quite a few nice beats here including Barry chasing after Livewire’s electric current. The fight reaches its climax when Livewire attempts to destroy a helicopter. Supergirl uses her body as a shield, taking the full force of the electric bolt. The citizens of National City form a barrier around her, protecting her from Livewire until the fireman that Kara rescued a few weeks ago neutralises the villain by dousing her in water.
After providing the NCPD with the necessary tech to detain metahumans (does that include a toilet?) it’s time for Barry to return to his own universe. He does this by playfully racing against Kara and then getting her to launch him through the dimensional rift that he opens up. Before he goes he gives her a bit of romantic advice and tells her to just go ahead and make her move on James. Having received some similar and totally inappropriate advice from Cat earlier, Kara finally goes for it and kisses Olson in an adorably awkward fashion. Unfortunately she does it at the exact same moment that Non switches on the Myriad, turning James and every other human in to brainless zombies. Kara is unable to do anything other than watch as James marches away into the distance.
The Supergirl/Flash crossover managed to deliver on all of its promise without really having to do much in the way of storytelling. The teaming of Livewire and Silver Banshee wasn’t particularly engaging but that’s not why anyone tuned in. We paid our money to see Flash and Supergirl team up and that’s exactly what we got. There were plenty of fun in-jokes, like Cat’s knowing wink to the CW and a call back to some of the awful names that The Flash almost got stuck with, and the charm level was turned up to eleven from the get-go. Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist are so effortlessly likable that the writers really didn’t need to do anything other than let the characters be themselves. Put simply this was a lot of fun, which is the whole point of superheroes in the first place.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The weakest part of the episode was the awkward moment between James and Lucy Lane, I still don’t fully understand why she is in charge of the DEO. Please just go away.
- There were so many great lines in this episode but my favourite goes to Cat for this doozey: “You look like the attractive yet non-threatening cast of a CW show.”
- Cat also totally nailed it when she said that Barry was so nice that he had to either be a Superhero or a Mormon…. or a Blue Lantern. I think my total disdain for Lucy Lane is actually making me warm up to Cat Grant a bit. Go figure.
- Yes that was the Tachyon protoype on Barry’s chest. As desperate as he is to get back to Earth-2, he should know that nothing good will come of playing with that tech.